Gender vs. Sex

Subject: Gender vs. Sex
From: Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1993 15:09:21 CDT

|} Deborah Bosley's recent
|} article "A Study of Gender and its Influence on Visual Design"
|} (TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION, August 1993) suggests one promising line of
|} inquiry: IF "gender is a factor in how males and females perceive
|} interfaces.) Researchers like Mary Lay have pointed out how gender
|} influences the group dynamic for collaborative writing projects.

Did I get left out of a major usage change in the last couple of years?
Just exactly when did the terms GENDER and SEX become synonymous? I get
questionaires now that ask me what my gender is. I have to think, "well,
most times I am referred to as he or him, which is masculine, sometimes
as a part of a they or them, which is neuter, and rarely as it, also
neuter. Very rarely as a feminine now that I stopped wearing my hair (as)
long." Hmmm, I'd say masculine, mostly. Sometimes a little neuter.

My SEX is male. I have two X chromosones. My sex and my gender don't
even have to match. Today, I'm feeling rather butch.

Is this some kind of Victorian backlash thing? Are we going to start
referring to legs as limbs again? Is SEX a dirty word now so we have to
resort to the more ambiguous gender? Am I the only one bothered by this?

******************** Steve Fouts
* _ ___ * sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
* ( |____| *
* _ /\ |\ _ * "a little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of
* / / \ _| \ \ * explanation."
* ( * ) \/_|__* ) * --H. H. Munro
* \_/ _/ \_/ * <Boilerplate disclaimer here>

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